In a welcome trend, Malayalam cinema harks back to the 80s

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By Sujatha Narayanan

May 19, 2024

Malayalam movies hitting it out of the park is neither a recent phenomenon nor is it some “emerging trend” that’s a year old.

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The current boom of Malayalam cinema running to packed halls in a state other than Kerala was an early 1980s phenomenon.

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Mammootty and Mohanlal were the “brand ambassadors” of Malayalam cinema, even now. It was an era when only one theatre in Chennai would screen Malayalam movies.

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Priyadarshan’s Chithram (1988) was one of those films that ran in all of Tamil Nadu to full shows and increased the number of screens for a Malayalam movie from one to many.

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When Mani Ratnam cast Mammootty in Thalapathy (1991) and Mohanlal in Iruvar (1997), Malayalam cinema had touched a stardom unheard off.

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While we are talking about films in colour, we also have to remember the effect Kamal Hassan had in the transition era of Black-and-White to colour in Malayalam.

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2024 is like the 80s redone for Malayalam cinema, where newer markets and newer trends are being added to the oeuvre.

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Vipin Das’s latest super-hit, Guruvayoor Ambala Nadayil (2024) proves that harking back to the 80s is a good thing after all!

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